Pascual Toso 2014 Malbec - 87pts

Pascual Toso 2014 Malbec (Maipú District) Mendoza - Argentina

Availability
: BCLDB Stores
Cost: $13.29 + taxes
Alcohol: 14%

Date Tasted: June 28th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Beyond the 
ripe'n'tangy, dark berry facade lies unexpected layers of earthy, spicy and savoury characters on the smoked hard cheese-infused nose and the juicy, mouth-watering, slightly off-dry palate where oak, spiced plum and white pepper notes linger on a moderate finish. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Viña Montes 2013 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon - 90-92pts

Viña Montes 2013 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon (D.O. Colchagua Valley) Chile

Availability: BCLDB Signature and private wine stores
Cost: $22-25 +tax
Alcohol: 15.2%
Date Tasted: June 25th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Starting with the 2012 vintage, the Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% dry-farmed, meaning the vineyard's only water-source is that which nature provides during the growing season. This adds sustainability 'cred' to the winery's marketing copy but also noticeable quality improvements as well. Older vines with deep roots make the practice viable, forcing the vines to work harder to get the water it needs; vines in a constant state of struggle produce the best wine.


The result is crazy intensity and depth for the price with concentrated, black currant, eucalyptus-mint, toasted oak and warm spice aromas on the dense nose followed by a velvety palate with similar flavours and a long, refined, mouth-watering finish where lively dark fruit puree notes linger. Has the pedigree to age a decade. Drink 2016-2023+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé - 88pts


Fort Berens Estate Winery 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé (Lillooet) Fraser Canyon - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $17.99
Alcohol: 13.7%
Production: 352 cases
Date Tasted: June 25th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An orangy-pink r
osé with a lovely combination of delicate, sweet berry fruit and warm, sage and dried herbs aromas on the appealing nose and the off-dry, approachable palate. Cool, steely-mineral notes and cranberry acidity balance the residual sugar nicely and linger on the finish. Drink now-2016.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

LaStella Winery 2015 Vivace Pinot Grigio - 89pts

LaStella Winery 2015 Vivace Pinot Grigio (Osoyoos) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and private wine stores
Cost: $21.65 ($24.90 taxes included)
Alcohol: 12.8%
Production: 1240 cases
Date Tasted: June 23rd, 2016

@LaStellaWinery

Tasting Notes:
Always a clean and crisp expression of the Pinot Gris grape, the 2015 Vivace is a tad dryer than recent vintages of the fan-favourite, Pinot Grigio styled wine. Look for more prominent stonefruit and mineral notes this year on the subtle nose and medium-bodied palate with apple, pear, lime rind, herbs, lees and melon notes rounding out the profile. The finish is long and refreshing. Enjoy this wine in its youth and serve with light seafood dishes. Drink 2016-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Cuvée D'Andrée Rosé - 87pts

Chateau Des Charmes 2015 Cuvée D'Andrée Rosé (Niagara-On-The-Lake) Niagara Peninsula - Ontario

Availability: Direct from the winery here and select LCBO stores
Cost: $15.95
Alcohol: 12.6%

Production: 1715 cases
Date Tasted:  June 23rd, 2016

Tasting Notes: A f
ruity and fresh rosé with lifted, red berry aromas and a touch of cooling minerality on the nose. Medium bodied with a touch of residual sugar mid-palate that finishes dry thanks to a refreshing wave of cranberry-rhubarb acidity and flavours. Grapefruit rind and light, dried herbs linger on the moderate finish. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

LaStella 2013 Maestoso "Solo" Merlot - 93pts

LaStella 2013 Maestoso "Solo" Merlot (Osoyoos Lake Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: (Not yet released) Direct from the winery here
Cost: $89.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.7%
Production: 188 cases
Date Tasted: June 19th, 2016

@LaStellaWinery

Tasting Notes:
LaStella's flagship wine, Maestoso, proves that 100% Merlot wines can be as elegant and nuanced as the valley's top Cabernet Sauvignon or its heralded red blends. Harmonious layers of ripe, blackberry and dark plum fruit, vanilla fudge, spiced oak, chocolate nibs, dried herbs and light menthol aromas make the developing bouquet as equally compelling as the complex. refined palate. Intense, ultra-ripe, dark fruit dominates, supported by savoury notes; toasted oak, vanilla mocha, smokey tannins and cooking spices. Has the structure to age gracefully, though, with several hours of decanting you can enjoy this wine today. Ideally, 2-3 more years of bottle age would maximize your investment. Drink 2018-2024+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

River Stone Estate Winery 2015 Malbec Rosé - 88pts

River Stone Estate Winery 2015 Malbec Rosé (Oliver) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here
Cost: $19.90 (including tax)
Alcohol: 13.8%
Date Tasted: June 17th, 2016

Tasting Notes: Though muted on the nose, with a youthful bouquet of strawberry, raspberry and mineral aromas, this 
rosé is as bright and cheerful as its cherry-coral colour suggests. Made from 100%, estate-grown Malbec grapes this blush's raison d'être is its delightful, juicy'n'crisp, off-dry palate of plump, strawberry-kiwi and citrus-pomegranate flavours. Finishes dry with lingering mineral and cranberry notes and a touch of spiceEnjoy it in its youth. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Chardonnay - 92+pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2015 Chardonnay (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here and private wine shops
Cost: $35
Alcohol: 13%
Date Tasted: June 14th, 2016

Tasting Notes: From a tank sample. A standout Chardonnay, sourced from the winery's home vineyard along the Skaha Bench, harvested in small lots and fermented separately to preserve the unique qualities of each batch. 
In contrast to previous vintages, 20% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks and underwent a softening of the acids through a secondary, malolactic fermentation. The rest of the wine was aged in an even split of 1st and 2nd fill French oak barrels with no malolactic fermentation.

The finished wine is as complex as its ever-evolving, multifaceted, production recipe with aromas and flavours of honeydew, pear, tangerine, lemon/lime, vanilla, stonefruit, spice and brioche. Pure, refined and elegant with a harmonious balance of its core elements: fruit, acid and texture. An effortless intensity which will help the wine hold for many years and develop further over time as the intensity is slowly dialled back to reveal layers of dried and candied fruit aromas and flavours. Drink 2017-2022+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Rosé - 88pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2014 Rosé (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $21.69 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.5%

Production: 419 cases
Date Tasted: June 10th, 2016

Tasting Notes: This light brick-hued ros
é is a blend of 39% Merlot, 29% Cab Franc, 23% Malbec and 9% Petit Verdot produced using the traditional, saignee method with skin contact limited to one day. To say it's a mouthful is an understatement. With 14.5% residual alcohol and uber-ripe grapes at hartvest, this rosé bursts out of the glass with both sweet and tart red fruit characters on the femme fatale nose and on the hot, glycerol-coated, slightly off-dry palate. 

A nice kick of rhubarb acidity helps balance the weighty texture through to a long finish where dried cranberry and wild herbs linger. Serve chilled to help keep the alcohol in check. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Albariño - 89pts

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Albariño (Okanagan Falls) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $TBA
Alcohol: 13.8%
Date Tasted: June 8th, 2016

@Stagshollow

Tasting Notes: At times, both bracing and easy-drinking, such is the dichotomy of this tasty, intriguing Albariño from Okanagan Fall's Stag's Hollow. Tart, lemon/lime flesh and skin blend nicely with mineral-y white peach and wooden pear aromas and flavours. Memorable for its complex sensual experience in the mouth including citrus-induced puckering, fruit puree fatness and a touch of tannin on the herbs-infused finish.


Release dates and prices are not yet known. Contact the winery directly to find-out how to get hold of a bottle. Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir - 90pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2012 Oldfield Series Pinot Noir (Black Sage Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Soon to be released. Direct from winery here 
Cost: $31.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.8%
Production: cases
Date Tasted: June 7th, 2016

@TinhornCreek

Tasting Notes: A big, developed nose of scorched earth, dried herbs and maturing, red fruit aromas precede a concentrated, dry palate with a similar profile of flavours highlighted by chocolate-covered cherry and tart raspberry notes. Fine, smoky tannins frame the moderate finish where spice and dried cranberry flavours linger. Ready to go now. Drink 2016-2010.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Bench 1775 Winery 2015 Glow Rosé - 90pts

Bench 1775 Winery 2015 Glow Rosé (Naramata Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $19.90
Alcohol: 13.7%

Date Tasted: June 6th, 2016
@Bench1775

Tasting Notes: A truly lovely 
rosé to experience via its delicate, candied fruit and floral-herb nose and superbly balanced, slightly off-dry, mouth-watering, berry and citrus-infused palate. Salmon-hued and subtly textured, "Glow" is a blend of 75% Malbec, 10.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.3% Syrah and 5.2% Cabernet Franc, produced with minimal skin contact and aged in stainless steel tanks. Finishes long with lingering herb, melon and tangy, tropical fruit notes. Delightful. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2015 Dry Riesling - 88pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2015 Dry Riesling (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $17.11
Alcohol: 12.5%
Production: 5300 cases
Date Tasted: June 5th, 2016

Tasting Notes: A refreshing, citrus-infused Riesling with some light floral and mineral notes on the nose and dry-ish palate. Finish is zesty and vibrant with intense, lemon/line rind acidity and texture. 
A perfect companion to your next seafood feast thanks to its vein of minerality. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Pin 2015 Petit Blanc - 88pts

Le Vieux Pin 2015 Petit Blanc (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability
: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $18.49 +taxes
Alcohol: 12,7%
Production: 790 cases
Date Tasted: June 4th, 2016

Tasting Notes: An expressive blend of (mostly) Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris with splashes of Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat Blanc contributing some added dimension to this approachable, food-friendly wine. Aromas of ripe orchard and fresh citrus fruit patrol the rounded nose followed by similar flavours on the well-balanced, full-ish palate with citrus and Jazz apple acidity keeping the finish lively and refreshing where a hint of mineral and spice notes linger.
 Drink now-2018.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Le Vieux Pin 2013 Retouche - 91+pts

Le Vieux Pin 2013 Retouche (Okanagan Valley) BC

Availability: Limited. Exclusive to wine club members only. Winery website here
Cost: $59.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.3%
Production: 125 cases
Date Tasted: June 4th, 2016

Tasting Notes
Le Vieux Pin's 2013 Retouche is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Syrah sourced from Southern Okanagan vineyards along the Golden Mile and Black Sage benches. The wine spends 18 months in older, French oak barrels prior to bottling and showcases the effortless compatibility of the Cab-Merlot combination with Syrah contributing some rich spice notes on the nose and palate. The rest of the flavour profile consists of creamy blackberry and cassis fruit, lifted menthol, cherry-cola and dried herbs. Finish is long and rounded with fine, chalky tannins and spice lingering.

Ready to go now with 2-3 hours of decanting, though, future development is likely if given time to incubate in the bottle. Drink 2018-2021.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Gewurztraminer - 89pts

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2015 Gewurztraminer (Golden Mile Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability
: Direct from winery here, BCLDB and VQA stores
Cost: $15.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 4321 cases
Date Tasted: June 2nd, 2016

Tasting Notes: An opulent-styled 
Gewurztraminer, sourced from the winery's home vineyard along the Golden Mile Bench (now a recognized VQA sub-region and proudly emblazoned upon the label). The nose is bursting with uber-ripe tropical and orchard fruit aromas complimented by rich, floral notes and the distinct smell of candy foam bananas.

The off-dry palate is full-bodied with chewy lychee and fresh-off-the-tree peach fruit flavours balanced nicely by citrus acidity and a touch of stonefruit minerality. Pair with spicy Asian food or hard cheeses like Gruyere. Drink now-2017.
  - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2015 Gewurztraminer - 88pts

Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2015 Gewurztraminer (West Kelowna) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from winery here and VQA stores
Cost: $17.11
Alcohol: 13.5%
Production: 7450 cases
Date Tasted: May 31st, 2016

Tasting Notes: Opens with classic 
Gewurztraminer aromas of lychee and ripe orchard fruit, orange blossoms and spicy-plum sauce. The off-dry palate presents a leaner style of the Alsatian grape with mineral and citrus fruit flavours and impressive acidity for a naturally, low-acid berry. Exotic fruit, citrus peel and spice show up on the mouth-watering finish. Drink now-2017.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2013 Syrah - 92+pts

Painted Rock Estate Winery 2013 Syrah (Skaha Bench) Okanagan Valley - BC

Availability: Direct from the winery here
Cost: $34.99 + taxes
Alcohol: 14.9%

Production: 1622 cases
Date Tasted: May 31st, 2016

Tasting Notes: Opens with the intensity of an extracted Aussie Shiraz on the nose, though, the developing bouquet more closely resembles Syrah of the Northern Rhone with a beautiful blend of floral, fruit and savoury aromas. Layers of violet, blue fruits, smoky, cured meats, toffee, cardamom and white pepper will keep you blissfully sniffing the glass.


Palate is equally intense, with similar complexity and flavours, though, peppercorn spice plays a more prominent role and lasts for several minutes on the finish with a hint of fresh citrus and mint. Despite the nearly 15% alcohol and grippy tannins, there's no fat, this Syrah stays lean with excellent viscosity and a vibrant mouthfeel.

Look for this stunning, spicy Syrah to age gracefully over the next 3-5 years and last for 10 or more. Drink 2017-2022+.
 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2016 IconWines.ca